Posts

JobCentre_778x436

Minister Denies Google Maps Jobcentres Bungle

A CABINET minister has denied that the DWP used google maps to identify jobcentres for closure in Glasgow, despite officials admitting it on more than one occasion.
Damian Green, work and Pensions Secretary told MP and MSPs that was not how the department operated and agreed it was not the right way to do business.

Mr Green was giving evidence to a special joint session of the Westminster and Holyrood Social Security committees in the House of Commons.

He was quizzed over the plans to shut half of Glasgow’s jobcentres and was asked about using google maps.

 

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

 

 

George Adam, Paisley SNP MSP asked about DWP officials using google maps to determine which offices should close and which remain open.

He said: “Surely that’s not the right way to do business?”

Mr Green replied: “It’s not and we don’t do it that way.”

 

 

However Denise Horsfall, Scotland work Director for the DWP who is in charge of the process to shut Jobcentres in Glasgow previously admitted they did.
She said in January in an interview with the Evening Times, when asked if the routes between centres had been tested by staff in person, Ms Horsfall said: “I would love to say I sent my team out but they have got other work to do. I did use maps and the traveline website.”

The House of Commons library also records Ms Horsfall and Neil Couling a fellow official in giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament social security committee stating: “In determining travelling distances, DWP had used Traveline and Google Maps.”

 

Mr Green was also challenged on the justifications given by the DWP for closing eight Jobcentres in the Glasgow area.JobCentre_778x436

Pauline McNeill, Glasgow Labour MSP, asked Mr Green about his comments that more people were using services online and told him that the situation in Glasgow was not the same as in other cities.

She said: “Glasgow is one of the poorest cities in the UK with huge pockets of deprivation.

“One in four people do not have access to the internet. You cannot compare Glasgow to cities like Leeds without looking at levels of poverty.”

Rutherglen SNP MP, Margaret Ferrier, had told the Secretary of State, that Glasgow was being treated disproportionately with 50% of centres being closed compared to 20% across the UK.

Mr Green said that there was too much unused space and the tax payer had to get better value for money.”

The plan is for seven of the 14 Glasogw Jobcentres to close and also for Cambuslang to shut and services moved to Rutherglen.

The Evening Times Hands off Our Jobcentres campaign has called for the plans to be halted and Jobcentres to be retained in the communities where they are needed most. the campaign has attracted widespread support across political parties and from churches and trade unions.

 

_92246155_cwvfyd4wiaafwduI, Daniel Blake film director, Ken Loach also supported our call to stop the closures.

Mr Green said that the proposals for Glasgow were still under consideration.

He said: There is a consultation going on. We haven’t yet come to a final conclusion of what we are going to do in Glasgow. I would ask everyone to be patient.”

 

Evening Times – 21/03/17 – Stewart Paterson, Political Correspondent

George outside Paisley Museum

Tory Government Trident Cover Up A Dangerous And Worrying Precedent

                                                                                                Who Knew What About Missile Test Failure?

George outside Paisley Museum
Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has condemned the UK government for withholding details of a serious malfunction in a Trident test launch last June – just weeks before the vote to renew Trident to the tune of £205bn.

 

It has been widely reported that during a test launch, an unarmed Trident missile had fired in the wrong direction towards the US coastline. The major failure was not shared publicly ahead of the vote on renewal.

 

Commenting, George said: “It is deeply worrying that just weeks before the House of Commons voted to renew Trident, the UK government chose to withhold vital information about a serious Trident missile malfunction that raised doubts about the safety of the technology. “Each time a missile is tested it costs the taxpayer £17m, and these latest reports demonstrate that not only is Trident obscenely expensive but it is potentially unreliable and unsafe.

 

“The SNP will continue to hold the UK government to account for their lack of transparency and press them for answers on this.”

George Town Hall

New Survey Launched To Help Shape Scotland’s National Transport Policy

Paisley’s MSP George Adam, is encouraging individuals, organisations and communities in Paisley to give their views in the new Transport Scotland survey that will help shape the long-term vision for the Scottish Government’s transport policies.

The National Transport Strategy (NTS) review will contribute towards formulating a plan for the kind of transport we want for the whole of Scotland in 20 years’ time and how we plan to get there.George Town Hall

The early engagement survey is available online until spring 2017. It will be followed by a wider programme of national engagement beginning in summer 2017 ahead of a full public consultation.

Commenting, George said:

“The SNP is committed to giving stakeholders and communities across Scotland a greater say in influencing the development of transport policy at the local, regional and national level. I would encourage as many of my constituents as possible in Paisley to take this chance to have your views heard and contribute to the National Transport Strategy survey available online until spring next year.

“This NTS review is intended to be a collaborative listening exercise garnering views from members of the public and interested organisations from across Scotland to help shape the future of transport in Scotland.

“The SNP government will be working closely throughout the review with Regional Transport Partnerships, local authorities and other key stakeholders through the NTS Review Partnership Group.”

To take part in the survey visit the National Transport Strategy Web Page

George outside University of the West of Scotland

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam Praises Rise In Teacher Numbers Across Renfrewshire

Scottish Government Attainment Scotland Fund Driving Growth

 George outside UWS

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has applauded the rise in teacher numbers across Renfrewshire. The rise has been driven by efforts by the Scottish Government to increase teacher numbers through initiatives such as the Attainment Scotland Fund.

 

Numbers of teachers have risen from 1,621 to a total of 1,658 teachers across Renfrewshire. This is part of a nationwide increase of 253 teachers, including 160 directly funded by the Scottish Government’s Attainment Scotland Fund.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

 “This growth in teacher numbers across Renfrewshire is very welcome, and reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to getting it right for every child.

 

 “The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a priority during this parliament, and actions such as the Attainment Scotland Fund, which has driven this increase in teacher numbers, shows the positive difference the Scottish Government is making for children across Paisley.

 

 “We are determined to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up, and that means making sure our children are able to benefit from high quality education – and the increase in teacher numbers over the last year is one way in which we are doing this.

 

 “The £750 million Attainment programme is already having a tangible impact in getting more teachers into our schools, and I look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that children across Paisley continue to benefit.”

 

Thrushcraigs

Statistics Show More Social And Council Housing In Development

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed a significant rise in the number of council houses and new social rented sector homes in development compared to last year, as well as an overall increase in housing supply – as revealed by National Statistics for Scotland figures published today. 

 

While the Labour/Lib Dem Scottish executive built only six council homes during their time in office, council house building has been revived under the SNP, with right-to-buy scrapped. Central to the Scottish Government’s ambition to make Scotland “fairer and more prosperous” is the commitment to building at least 50,000 new affordable homes over this parliament. 

The latest analysis shows that new local authority housing starts and completions have risen (26% and 12% respectively) since last year, and more social housing is being built across Scotland. 

Thrushcraigs

Commenting, George said:

 

“It is really encouraging that housebuilding in Scotland is on the up – particularly when it comes to new social housing and council-built developments.  

 

“The number of social housing homes built between April and June this year was up 77% on the same period last year. And on top of this there was a 26% increase in new local council housing developments up to September 2016 compared to last year. 

 

“The SNP is committed to building 50,000 new affordable homes for many reasons, not least given the link between poor housing and poverty and the fact more homes will help improve people’s life chances, create jobs, and have a beneficial effect on health and wellbeing. This is in stark contrast to the Labour/Lib Dem coalition that was responsible for building only six new council houses throughout their time in office.  While we still have work to do, I am confident that these latest figures show that the SNP is committed to working with partners to continue to increase the affordable housing supply.”

 

george and nicola

The Scottish Parliament Has Backed The SNP’s Plans To Reform Local Council Tax

George with Nicola Sturgeon.

The Scottish Parliament has backed the SNP’s plans to reform local council tax, paving the way for an additional £500 million in education spending over this parliament.

 The majority of households will see no rise in their bills due to these changes. While those who can afford to pay more will see a moderate increase in their bills, all households will continue to pay less on average than under council tax regimes in England.

 Renfrewshire schools are set to benefit from the increased spending as the SNP take forward plans to close the attainment gap between those from low-income and high-income families.

 The overwhelming vote in favour of the change is the first step in the process of reforming council tax, with the Scottish Government committing to further discussions on fair and progressive taxation.

 Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 “This reform represents the SNP’s continued commitment to a fair and progressive system of local taxation, with £100m delivered for our schools each year while keeping bills down for most households.

“Improving standards in schools is the SNP’s number one priority in government and this investment is a major step forward in achieving this.

“The extra revenue raised by these reforms will be invested into Paisley schools, with funding targeted at schools with the greatest need.

 “This is an important step in making sure that council tax reflects the ability to pay, while making an important difference to schools in Paisley.”

 

 

George with his Renfrewshire Colleagues,
Derek MacKay MSP, Gavin Newlands MP and Tom Arthur MSP

George Speaks to EU Nationals in Paisley: You’re Welcome Here

Paisleys MSP has told EU nationals in Paisley that “you remain welcome here” after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union.

Renfrewshire voted to Remain in the EU by 64.8% – alongside every other local authority area in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made clear that it would be a “democratic outrage” for Scotland to now be dragged out of the EU against its will.

The Scottish Government is now exploring all options to protect Scotland’s relationship with Europe.

George with his Renfrewshire Colleagues, Derek MacKay MSP, Gavin Newlands MP and Tom Arthur MSP

George with his Renfrewshire Colleagues,
Derek MacKay MSP, Gavin Newlands MP and Tom Arthur MSP

Commenting, George said:

“Paisley, like the rest of Scotland, voted to remain within the EU – a vote to protect our place in the world’s biggest single market and the jobs and investment that depend on it.

“It’s significant that the result in Scotland came after a campaign that was positive about the EU and the benefits of freedom of movement.

“As your MSP, I want to tell the citizens of other EU countries living in Paisley that you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued.

“The many EU citizens studying or working at Paisley University should also be reassured that the Scottish Government is doing everything possible to protect our membership of the EU.

“It’s deeply disappointing that the result in Scotland was not echoed across the whole of the UK – but Scotland has spoken decisively and we will make that voice heard.”

 

George town hall landscape

George Welcomes “Bold Agenda” For Scotland

George town hall landscapePaisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed a series of policy announcements made by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Spring Conference in Glasgow.

The First Minister confirmed that a re-elected SNP government will:
• Increase Maternity Grants for the birth of a first child; reintroduce payments for subsequent children; and introduce payments for children beginning nursery and starting school.
• Extend free school meals to all 2, 3 and 4 year olds in our nurseries.
• Invest an extra £750 million over the next Parliament, partly paid for by making the Council Tax fairer, to tackle raise the attainment of the most disadvantaged young people.
Protect NHS funding in every year of the next Parliament and invest an additional £50 million in cancer treatment.
• Extend superfast broadband to every community in Scotland.

Commenting, George said:

“At the SNP Conference last weekend the First Minister set out a number of policies that I will be proud to take to people in Paisley in the Scottish Parliament election in May.

“The SNP already has record to be proud of: crime is at a 41 year low; Council Tax bills have been frozen for nine years; more school leavers are in work, education or training than ever before; the health budget has reached a record £13 billion; and we have full mitigated the Bedroom Tax.

“In Paisley, the Scottish Government has provided millions for the refurbishment of the Russell Institute, the old Arrnott’s building, electrification of the Paisley Canal line and to build a new school at St Fergus’ Primary to name but a few projects.

“The bold agenda set out by the First Minister will build on this record of achievement – to deliver a fairer, more prosperous and confident country.

“It is clear that the only way to secure this progressive vision for Scotland is to vote both votes SNP and re-elect a strong SNP government led by Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister.”

George with members of #TeamPaisley

SNP Maintains Lead in the Polls

Two new polls have shown the SNP retaining a huge lead over Labour – as people in Scotland continue to back the party’s positive vision for Scotland’s future.

A poll by TNS shows support for the SNP on the constituency vote has grown to 60 per cent – 39 points ahead of Labour on 21 per cent – while support on the regional list has grown to 55 per cent.

Another new poll by Survation, shows SNP support has grown to 54 per cent on the constituency vote – while Labour’s has fallen to 21 per cent, giving the SNP a 33 point lead. On the regional vote, SNP support stands at 43 per cent, compared to only 19 per cent for Labour.

The Survation poll also shows that Labour’s policy of shifting the burden of austerity onto working people by hiking the basic rate of income tax is being completely rejected – with 41 per cent of respondents favouring no change to the basic rate and only 24 per cent backing a tax rise.

George with members of #TeamPaisley

George with members of #TeamPaisley

Commenting on the recent polls, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “These polls are extremely positive and highlight the continued confidence the majority of the electoral has in the SNP Government. In Paisley over the last 5 years, we have seen more people than ever before supporting the SNP, and long may that continue.

‘I was the first SNP representative ever elected in Renfrewshire, shortly followed by Derek MacKay and more recently by MPs Gavin Newlands and Mhairi Black. We are all working hard for this town and will be out chapping doors and engaging with the people hoping that they bestow their trust in us once again. We will never be complacent and take this support for granted. It has been the pleasure of a lifetime representing the good people of Paisley.”

george and nicola

SNP Retain Huge Poll Lead

Another poll showing the SNP’s strong lead over the opposition parties has been welcomed by Paisley’s MSP George Adam. The poll highlighted that people in Scotland are continuing to back our place in Europe while ‘comprehensively rejecting’ Labour’s planned tax hike on working people.

The poll by Ipsos-Mori for STV shows SNP support on the constituency ballot up by three points to 53 per cent – a total of 33 points ahead of Labour, who are locked in a battle for second place with the Tories. On the regional list, SNP support stands at 49 per cent – compared to 19 per cent for Labour and 15 per cent for the Tories.

Nicola Sturgeon remains by far the most popular politician in Scotland – with net approval ratings of +39, compared to -38 for David Cameron and -13 for Jeremy Corbyn.

The poll also shows that Labour’s planned tax hike on working people is being soundly rejected by people in Scotland – with 64 per cent of people against the plans, compared to only 30 per cent in favour.

On the EU referendum, today’s poll finds that 62 per cent of people in Scotland will support retaining our place in Europe, compared to only 26 per cent who would back leaving.

Ipsos Mori also found that if Scotland was dragged out of Europe against our will, 54 per cent would favour independence, compared to only 39 per cent who would be opposed – giving a result of 58 per cent backing independence once Don’t Knows are discounted. The poll also finds support for independence currently stands at 52 per cent, when Don’t Knows are removed.george and nicola

Commenting, George said:

“This is another very welcome poll showing people in Scotland are continuing to back the SNP’s record in government and our positive, ambitious vision for Scotland’s future – in contrast to a chaotic Labour Party which isn’t even regarded as a credible party of opposition, never mind a credible party of government.

“Locally, we have seen the SNP Scottish Government provide funding to refurbish the Russell Institute and to build a new St Fergus Primary in Ferguslie while funding housing on Lawn Street, Shortroods, Thrushcraigs and Barrhead Road. Over the past 5 years we have also seen the electrification of the Canal Street Line and a massive investment in Paisley Gilmour Street, Scotland’s 4th busiest train station. On top of this, the Scottish Government has match funded the UK Government to provide the City Deal which will bring £1bn of investment to Paisley and the surrounding areas.

“We could talk about the woes of the Labour party, but I prefer to put forward a positive case to re-elect a strong SNP Scottish Government. The SNP has a positive vision for Scotland and a strong record in government to stand on as we approach the election – with crime at a 41 year low, NHS budget and staffing at a record high, the target of 30,000 affordable homes exceeded, and pay rises for thousands of public sector workers about to be delivered.

“But of course, we do not take even a single vote for granted – and over the next three months we will be working harder than ever to maintain the trust of people in Scotland and secure the re-election of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and an SNP Government with a track record of delivering for Scotland.”

On the poll’s findings on the EU referendum, George added:

“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want to play a positive, constructive role alongside our friends and allies in Europe – and if we find ourselves dragged out of Europe against our will by the reckless actions of this Tory government, people in Scotland will very quickly come to the conclusion that Westminster is simply incapable of representing Scotland’s interests.”

Details of the poll can be found by clicking here.